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2SLGBTQIA+ Resources
Ressources pour 2SLGBTQIA+

In light of Pride Season, we put together some resources that remind us that Pride is not just a parade happening the summer – it's a riot. Our hope is that these resources help your efforts to learn more about the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and work towards becoming a real ally.

*This page is always growing and more resources are being added thanks to research and suggestions made by our community.

À la lueur de la saison de Fierté, nous avons compilé une liste de ressources pour nous rappeler que la Fierté n'a pas toujours été un défilé pendant l'été – c'est une révolte. Nous espérons que les ressources affichées ici vous assistent dans votre apprentissage de la communauté 2SLGBTQIA+ et vos efforts pour être de allié.e.s.

*La liste des ressources est actuellement en train d'être compilée grâce à la recherche et aux suggestions.

What do the letters mean?

Defining gender identities and sexual orientations

When it comes to the 2LGBTQIA+ acronym, a lot of people are confused; many question why the acronym is ever evolving and why it needs to be as long as it is. Some people advocate for an even longer acronym; some people want to ditch it entirely; some want to change it to make it more “catchy”.

Although there is no consensus on the matter, it’s important to understand what each “letter” means and why it’s important to make some of them particularly visible.

Here are some non-comprehensive definitions of the letters that compose the 2LGBTQIA+ acronym:

  • 2 (sometimes 2S): refers to Two-Spirit, a term solely for Indigenous people that can refer to either sexual orientation, gender identity or both. It’s important to note that the term “Two-Spirit” is an umbrella term; each Indigenous community has different terms that encompass a wide array of sexual orientations and gender identities. Although this letter can be found in different versions of the acronym, the reason for placing it at the beginning of the acronym is to recognize that Indigenous communities across the world have historically been very accepting of people of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, as well as to recognize and acknowledge the negative impact of colonialism on those inclusive practices and societies.

  • L: refers to lesbian, a term usually employed to define the sexual orientation of women who love women, although people of various gender identities relate and identify with the term. Its position in the acronym as one of the first letters is not accidental; it comes from a desire to acknowledge the way the lesbian community showed up to support gay men at the height of the AIDS epidemic, when it was forbidden for people of the same sex to be by the bedside of their lovers and life partners in hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America.

  • G: refers to gay, a term that is sometimes specifically used to refer to men who love men, but also women who love women and people of various gender who love people of the same gender. Since the term refers to a particular sexual orientation for people who love people of the same gender, many people criticize its use as an umbrella term for the 2LGBTQIA+ community as over simplistic and exclusionary.

  • B: refers to bisexual, a term that refers to people who are attracted to more than one gender. Although previous and outdated definitions of bisexuality have focused on its meaning as people who are attracted to both men and women, not all bisexual people are. Moreover, bisexuality and pansexuality are two very distinct sexual orientations. Bisexual refers to people who are attracted to people of more than one gender, whereas pansexual refers to people who are attracted to people regardless of their gender identity.

  • T: can refer to trans, transgender and transsexual gender identities. Each of these identities bears different connotations; the term “trans” is the most used currently, as it is perceived as being more inclusive and neutra than other terms, who are not everyone’s to reclaim and can be slurs when used by people who do not identify with those identities (such as the words transsexual, transvestite, tranny, to name a few).

  • Q: refers to both queer and questioning. In the past few decades, many people have reclaimed the term “queer”, which used to be a slur and derogatary term for people who do not conform, whether in their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender presentation, to what society defines as normal (commonly referred to as cis-hetero-normativity). The “Q” also refers to “questioning”, as a way to include people who do not know yet how to define their sexual orientation or gender identity and are questioning whether they really are cisgender and/or heterosexual.

  • I: refers to intersex, a term used for people who are born with sexual characteristics and reproductive organs that do not conform to the male and female binaries. Many intersex people experience violence early in their lives in order to “correct” those differences as to have them conform to the sex binary. There surgical procedures are still common practice and almost always done without intersex people’s consent, at the request of the parents and recommendation of many doctors.

  • A: refers to asexual and aromantic (often shortened to “ace”), terms for people who do not experience sexual and/or romantic attraction in the same way as allosexual people (people who experience sexual and/or romantic attraction). It’s important to mention that asexuality and a-romantism are spectrums; they are also not always related to sexual desire and whether an asexual person will have sex or not or whether an aromatic person will be in a relationship or not.

  • +: the “+” sign is used as a way to signify that the acronym is not an end in and of itself, and an acknowledgement of the way gender identities and sexual orientations are expansive, plural, and cannot be limited to a few letters or boxes. The use of the “+” sign is sometimes criticized as being reductive and dismissive of some identities.


A few other sexual orientations and gender identities worth mentioning and defining:

  • Non binary: an umbrella term that refers to people whose gender identity falls outside of the binary of man and woman. Non binary identities fall under the “trans” umbrella, although not all non binary people identify as trans, and trans people can experience gender in a binary way.

  • Gender assigned at birth and Assigned male / female at birth: a way to refer to someone’s gender that was assigned at birth based on physical observations only, before the person was able to express what their gender actually is. The word cisgender, or cis, refers to someone whose gender assigned at birth conforms to their gender identity, whereas the word transgender, or trans, refers to someone whose gender assigned at birth differs from their gender identity.

  • Sex: refers to physical male and female sexual characteristics. Though it’s easy to read sex as a male / female binary, sexual characteristics and genomic makeup are extremely diverse, with endless combinations and phenotypes.

  • Gender: a social construct distinct from sex and sexual characteristics, which relates to the ways a person’s identity relates to society and various gender roles.

  • Gender presentation: the way a person expresses or not their gender identity through appearance, clothing, etc. Someone’s gender presentation can align or not to their gender identity and does not in any way invalidates the latter (for example, a non binary person is still non binary even their gender presentation is feminine or masculine, a woman is still a woman even if they present as masculine).

  • Gender nonconforming: can be used for any person, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, whose gender presentation does not conform to traditional roles and expectations.

  • Pronouns: words that refer to someone, and can be related to their gender identity, although pronouns are not necessarily indicative of someone’s gender. The most common pronouns are she/her/hers, he/him/his and they/them/theirs, although many other pronouns (often called “neopronouns”) exist and are used by different people, and are just as valid as mainstream pronouns. It’s worth mentioning that it’s better to use the phrase “personal gender pronouns” over “preferred gender pronouns”, as the latter can be construed as a choice, when pronouns and gender identity are not a preference and are part of someone’s identity.

  • Femme: a word used by 2LGBTQIA+ people whose gender presentation mostly aligns with femininity.

  • Masc: a word used by 2LGBTQIA+ people whose gender presentation mostly aligns with masculinity.

  • Androgynous: a word used by 2LGBTQIA+ people whose gender presentation mostly does not align with either femininity or masculinity.


DONATE - Donner


Since 2013, the organization has been the benchmark community organization in support of trans, non-binary, creative, and gender-fluid youth’s affirmation within their families, schools, and communities. Our work began with full team training, through a  series of educational and empathy-driven workshops. Together we sought to create a visual language that champions dignity, inclusivity and joy, while bringing credibility. Anchored by a universal symbol inspired by the truest part of you– the heart. Standing strong and tall, always moving forward.

Depuis 2013, Jeunes identités créatives est un organisme communautaire de référence qui supporte l’affirmation des jeunes trans, non-binaires, cré et fluides sur le plan du genre au sein de leurs familles, de leurs écoles et de leurs communautés. C’est en outillant les parents et leurs enfants, en éduquant les communautés, en offrant des ressources novatrices et fiables et en défendant les droits des jeunes trans que nous aspirons à une société inclusive et sécuritaire pour chaque enfant.

PROJECT 10 / PROJET 10 - Montréal

Project 10 works to promote the personal, social, sexual and mental well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex and questioning (2LGBTQ+) youth and adults 14-25. Through advocacy and education, using a harm reduction approach, Project 10 aims to facilitate the empowerment of youth at individual, community, and institutional levels with a particular emphasis on supporting individuals and groups who experience multiple and intersecting oppressions.

*Projet 10 travaille à promouvoir le bien-être personnel, social, sexuel et mental des adolescent·e·s et des jeunes adultes lesbien·ne·s, gais, bisexuel·le·s, transgenres, transexuel·le·s, bispirituel·le·s, inersexes en questionnement âgé·e·s de 14 à 25 ans*

Grâce à la défense des droits, à l’éducation, et à une approche de réduction des méfaits, Projet 10 vise à développer l’autonomisation et l’autodétermination des jeunes sur les plans individuel, communautaire et institutionnel en priorisant les individus et les groupes qui qui vivent des oppressions multiples et intersectionnelles.


LGBT YouthLine is a *2SLGBTQ+ youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario. They do this by providing anonymous peer support and referrals; training youth to provide support to other youth; and providing resources so youth can make informed decisions.


Egale is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQI people in Canada and to enhance the global response to 2SLGBTQI issues. Egale will achieve this by informing public policy, inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights and inclusion through research, education, awareness and legal advocacy. They improve and save lives through research, education, awareness, and by advocating for human rights and equality in Canada and around the world.


The Youth Project is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing support and services to youth, 25 and under, around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. We have a provincial mandate and host staff/volunteers in the HRM, Cape Breton, the Valley, and the South Shore and travel around the province to meet with youth in other communities. We provide a variety of programs and services including support groups, referrals, supportive counselling, a resource library, educational workshops, social activities.

QMUNITY - Vancouver

QMunity is a non-profit organization that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. We provide a safer space for LGBTQ2SAI+ people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Our building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength. They empower queer, trans, and Two-Spirit individuals to be their best selves through free counselling, information and referrals, access to gender-affirming chestwear, and youth one-on-one peer support.


Rainbow Refugee is a charitable organization in Vancouver whose mission is to promote safe equitable migration and communities of belonging for people fleeing Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities and Expressions, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) persecution. Since 2001, Rainbow Refugee has supported more than 2000 individuals from 62 different countries to seek refugee protection in Canada. More than 25 cities in Canada have welcomed LGBTQIA+ refugees through the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership.

RAINBOW RAILROAD - Toronto + Global

Rainbow Railroad is a non-profit organization helps LGBT people escape state-sponsored violence. The organization was founded in 2006 as a volunteer-run organization by a diverse group of LGBTQI+ activists and human rights defenders who wanted to do more to address the levels of violence LGBTQI+ people face worldwide. Our name harkens back to the Underground Railroad – a network of activists in the 19th century, who assisted Black folks escape enslavement in the American South.

RÉZO - Montréal

RÉZO est un organisme communautaire sans but lucratif montréalais actif depuis 1991 auprès des hommes gais ou bisexuels, et hommes ayant des relations sexuelles avec d’autres hommes (HARSAH), qu’ils soient cis ou trans. RÉZO développe et coordonne des activités d’éducation et de prévention du VIH et des autres ITSS dans un contexte de promotion de la santé sexuelle et offre des activités d’éducation et de promotion de la santé mentale, physique et sociale.

Momentum Canada - National

Momentum presses governments and decision-makers to take action on 2SLGBTQIA+ human rights, health, safety, and justice. Working alongside and in collaboration with other stakeholders, we drive transformative change for 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

READ - Lire

Canada’s first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan… Building our future, with pride

The Government of Canada has developed and identified measures that will respond to key priorities for Canada’s diverse 2SLGBTQI+ communities in the first-ever Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan.


2SLGBTQ+ Communities Hard Hit by COVID – Impacts on Mental Health and Substance Use

“We are sharing this report as Pride celebrations occur this summer to acknowledge that 2SLGBTQ+ communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to increases in social, political, and economic inequities. However, we must take pride in knowing that 2SLGBTQ+ communities are resilient, strong, hopeful, accepting, and inclusive.” — Michel Rodrigue, president and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

THE RECOVERY VILLAGE: LGBTQ+ Drug and Alcohol Treatment Resources

People in the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to experience social stigma, discrimination, rejection, abuse and ostracism from society and even their families. People who identify as anything but heterosexual often face more challenges in their life, in addition to daily stressors, and as a result are at a higher risk of developing mental health and substance use disorders.


At The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper, we believe that each person should be treated as a whole, which means addressing conditions that occur alongside an addiction. We offer dual diagnosis treatment programs that address both addiction and mental health disorders simultaneously.

CUTTER LAW P.C. : Understanding the Connection Between Cyberbullying and Social Media: A Comprehensive Guide

Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are also more likely to experience cyberbullying. Approximately half of LGBTQ+ youth have reported they experienced some form of online harassment. This rate is much higher than the average. There also appears to be an increased risk for special needs individuals to become victims of cyberbullying.

RETIRE GUIDE : LGBTQ+ Elder Health Care Guide

Growing older presents challenges for millions of people, but members of the LGBTQ+ community are particularly hard-hit. We recently published an "LGBTQ+ Elder Health Care Guide" to connect older adults in the LGBTQ+ community to the resources and information that will help them find the care they need that highlights:

- What Health Care Challenges Do LGBTQ+ Elders Face?
- Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ Community
- Mental Health Resources

ONLINE SAFETY GUIDE : Cis/Trans Women, Girls & NonBinary Folx

Women and girls are both the targets and scapegoats of online harassment; we’re singled out and then victim-blamed as though we asked to be persecuted. The cycle has been vicious and endless, but not anymore. It’s time for us to take control and put an end to the attacks on women online.

CHECK-IN : Trans Rights Are Human Rights

THC's response to transphobia being at an all time high across the country with parents and organizers mobilizing to protest how schools present sexuality and gender expression and what resources and support systems are offered to trans kids.

ÉGALE : Working for Change - Understanding the employment experiences of
Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people in Canada

In the Working for Change project, Egale Canada set out to capture a more extensive understanding of the employment landscape that Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary (2STNB) people in Canada navigate. This mixed methods study collected data from 2STNB people in Canada using a national survey and semi-structured interviews to better understand experiences of workplace discrimination and inclusion, barriers to and facilitators of employment, as well as experiences of unemployment and underemployment.  

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